45% Of Podcast Listeners Started Listening To Podcasts In The Past Year

Acast, the world’s largest independent podcast company has unveiled the results of new podcast listener research conducted in collaboration with Nielsen. The study of 2,002 UK and Irish adults who consume podcasts at least monthly found that 45% of listeners started listening to podcasts in the past year, proving that the podcast landscape is rich with opportunities for brands and podcasters to reach new audiences.

According to the findings, there’s also untapped potential in the younger generations – despite typically being a medium associated with Millenial audiences, 53% of 18-34-year-old podcast listeners only starting to do so in the past year. In comparison, 65% of over 55s started listening more than 12 months ago.

More than a third (37%) of respondents said they listen to podcasts every day, while more than two thirds (70%) engage with podcast content more than once a week – but listeners also said they expect to increase their podcast consumption in the next six months.

Almost a third (32%) of those surveyed said they plan to listen to more podcast during this time. That’s higher than the 25% who said they expect to increase the amount of music they stream, and the 27% who plan to spend more time streaming video content.

For advertisers, an engaged and loyal podcast audience is also one more likely to interact with brand messaging they might hear, with 62% of respondents saying they’ve taken direct action following an advert they heard in a podcast.

31% said they considered or purchased the brand/product mentioned. 26% advocated for (read/wrote/discussed positively) it, 24% followed it on social media, and 24% searched for more information.

That makes podcasts an incredibly attractive prospect for any media plan. And the listen-through rate (LTR) from respondents is equally impressive – for episode 30-45 minutes long, 41% of listeners say they listen to either “most” or “about half”, confirming pre-roll and mid-roll ad placements as great ways to reach listeners. For podcasts downloaded to a listener’s personal device, rather than streamed, 71% will listen to “all” or “most” of an episode.

Podcasts are also seen as a trusted source of information – and listeners ranked them much higher in this respect than other media platforms. According to the study, 36% trust what they hear from a podcast host when talking about a brand or company, compared to just 18% for radio.

Crucially for advertisers, podcasts have low levels of advertising fatigue compared to other types of media. The research indicates that just 29% of listeners say there are too many ads on podcasts, compared to 52% who say there are too many on YouTube, and 37% who say there are too many on Radio. Given podcasts have one of the lowest ad loads of all mediums, this provides further opportunities for advertisers to continue to build their campaigns around podcasting – and to have a greater share of voice within individual shows.

Additional key findings reveal that listeners enjoy various aspects of podcasts:

70% of listeners say they enjoy listening to guest interviews

63% of listeners say they enjoy listening to panel discussions

56 % of listeners say they enjoy listening to host banter

News, Music and Comedy content are most frequently consumed, with half of podcast listeners listening to Comedy shows every week.

“Podcasts are an increasingly important part of life and culture for listeners all around the world, and more people are discovering podcasts for the first time every year,” says Leo Goldingham, Director of Sales, UK at Acast. “We trust our favorite podcasters to entertain and inform us – just as much as we trust them to recommend brands and products we’ll enjoy.

“Podcasts have become an integral part of thousands of brands’ marketing strategies but, together with Nielsen, our research shows there are still huge opportunities for advertisers to reach untapped audiences.”